Question Everything?

These people that don’t believe anything that mainstream media or ‘#MSM’ tells them. They say to ‘question everything’. Like, everything, everything? Obviously, lots of people recently wanted to question the efficacy of vaccines. It’s a relatively new disease that disrupted the whole world. Lots of people had to get uncomfortable. Couldn’t go for a haircut, or to the bar or pick up their Starbucks and what not (can you hear my sarcasm?). Anyway, I guess I can understand, to a certain extent, why people might question something new, even if it comes from the mouths of experts with decades of experience. But are we going to really question EV-ERY-THING?

Does the piston in my car really rotate the wheels?

Should I stop at this red light?

Should I let the doctor remove this cancerous growth in my brain?

Why do I have to take off my shoes to go through security at the airport?

Do I really need to wear clothes to work?

Is arsenic poisonous?

Are fairies real?

This is how reality and societies break down. Without a basic set of agreed facts to govern how we interact with each other we spiral to the apocalypse. Based on recent evidence, most of us are not going to make it in that world because most of us have become built for comfort. Temperature-controlled, hot-water-running, electricity pumping, lights on and infinite snack variety available while I watch Netflix; comfort. Starbucks (and supermarkets) will not be open in the apocalypse. Many of us wouldn’t last a week.

For a very long time (the last seventy years), it was widely agreed that sources like AP, reuters and the BBC could generally be relied upon for useful, mostly unbiased, factual reporting. Did they make choices about what stories to report? Sure. Do they have some issues still? Absolutely. Nevertheless, it’s been an incredible coincidence that only in the last five years those sources are no longer trusted. They have, seemingly overnight, turned into ‘radical left wing talking points’. How bizarre?

Apart from sitting down yourself and watching C span and all the other similar committee recordings from around the world ALL DAY LONG, where else are people supposed to get real facts delivered with journalistic integrity?

Not from YouTube

Not from social media.

Not from some random dude, or lady’s podcast.

We have gotten so very silly in the last few years. We must start being serious people again. Unserious people do not get anything done. And we have lots of work to do.


Inspired by True Events. Our children don’t always need ‘positivity’ and ‘happiness’ from us. They need us to act.

Manatee moans.

Tree trembles.

Grandma gags in smog.

Boy beseeches.

Big People yell, “Money! Money!”

“But my future?” cries Boy.

Big People ignore.

Boy travels to Government on a school holiday.

“The climate crisis will be my problem,

I ask you to help me today.”

“If only you asked sooner.”


This week my hometown of Miami was infamously cited as an example of maladaptation in the latest IPCC report.

“Attempts to fix the problem by installing new stormwater pumps and raising roads and buildings may have actually made inequality worse by raising property values….It was one of the global report’s key examples of “maladaptation,” when efforts to address climate change backfire by raising greenhouse gas emissions or making life harder for vulnerable people.”

Yay, us?

All humans need to be reading and understanding these IPCC reports. We are not going to be okay…unless we make rapid, massive changes to our extractive, destructive economy and what fuels it. Yet, there is no reason to despair…unless our leaders do not act wisely to secure a clean energy future. We must pressure them to act in the best interests of our children and the planet.

My own children will be my age (mid-forties) in 2050, when the worst impacts of climate collapse are expected to hit. Now habitable parts of Miami will sink underwater for good, regardless of the city’s current attempts to raise the roads and buildings.

It seems hypocritical that someone who believes in climate science would own property at sea level in Miami. You either believe the experts or are a climate denier. You can’t be both. We have been having real discussions about where we could move to. If we move somewhere in the mountains we may be subject to rapidly intensifying wildfires and winter storms. Plus this island girl hates snow for longer than a week. I’d be miserable. If we move back to native Trinidad and Tobago, the coastlines will also be submerged in time. All of those beautiful Caribbean beaches, and the coral reefs. All gone. There will be unimaginable economic misery in those island states. Even if ‘wealthy’ or middle class folks have the means to retreat to ever more shrinking safe havens and fortresses, they will not be able to escape the climate refugees or the injustice created.

I am so very weary of living in an incongruent world, where every choice I make every day is a compromise on the choices I know I should be making, but feel I can’t because they are not offered to me in this structure called civilization. It is like a thousand small cuts to your soul every day. It makes us all a little less human and is exhausting. Especially when we know that we have alternatives that we have not deployed.

Dystopia is not the future I wish for my children. I am not planning for Armageddon, because that is not going to be a fun world to live in, for anyone. That future is not the choice I make. So I will continue to wake up every day and add my voice to those who have been crying out for decades. Until everyone understands what we must do, and that we already have the plans, technology and tools to do it. We just need the cultural shift and political will to make the changes.

This is a scary time. I’ve been toying with the idea of running from disaster and saving my family. Aside from the fact that I know that we won’t be able to run forever from what is coming, I come back to this pivotal question: “Is ‘home’ worth saving?” And with tears in my eyes I declare: ‘YES! A thousand times, yes!’

The Green New Deal is not ‘Radical’ or ‘Leftist’

It’s the only serious proposal on the table for survival for our children.

A majority of Americans are concerned about Climate Change. Exactly how large the majority depends on what age group that human being tends to fall into, which makes sense, and does not make sense. If you think you will be dead before the worst effects hit then you might be less likely to be concerned than a younger person who has to live all their ‘best years’ in climate chaos. On the other hand, if you are a parent, leaving a mess for our children to clean up is the absolute opposite of being a responsible adult. How on earth would we be able to die peacefully without regret?

What would be the point of working your whole life to amass wealth, pay off a mortgage on a mansion in Miami, for example, which you plan leave to your children and then know that you are in fact leaving them an asset that could be underwater in forty years? That is not responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that we must rapidly decarbonize our world. I can only imagine that some people must not have read that report or understood it’s dramatic, scary recommendations if they still believe that we can maintain a livable climate while still using fossil fuels as our main source of energy. I will give those people the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to go read the report for themselves.

If we all presumably have the same goal of a livable climate for our children, and the experts have told us we can only achieve that livable climate with a rapid draw down of carbon dioxide, then strategies such as ‘planting more trees’ are inane, laughable, almost. We have been trying to ‘plant more trees’, for years. It is not working. By contrast, the Green New Deal is no longer ‘radical leftist propaganda’. It is one of the few serious proposals on the table for survival for our children. We can plant more trees, sure, but only if it’s a small part of a much broader plan to change everything about how we make our stuff, how we move around and how we eat.

We are, each of us, thinking adults. We need to get serious and sort through the noise and propaganda that is fed to us every day. Our children and grandchildren will either thank us or blame us for these next ten years, depending on what we choose to do.

Proud to be ‘Woke’

Yesterday my son got in the car and called me a ‘woke liberal’. Putting aside the fact that we still don’t know if he seriously believes these things (which would be disappointing but manageable) or is just trolling his mother which is highly likely because he has always been a mischievous sort, it gave us a great opportunity to say. “Yes! We are ‘woke’, and proud of it! By the way, do you even know what ‘woke’ means?”

Definition of ‘Woke’ according to the Oxford Dictionary:

“alert to injustice in society, especially racism.”

And Merriam Webster:

“aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).”

Like seriously, who does NOT want to be that? Abraham Lincoln was almost certainly ‘woke’, or at least ‘waking up’. Lincoln had a moral, legal and economic opposition to the institution of slavery. Abolitionists would argue that he should have acted more aggressively and ignored the constitution completely, but then America’s union would not be what it is today. Whether that is a good or bad thing is still TBD. Waking up is a process, for a man and a nation.

You can’t make me feel guilty for trying to be something just because it drips from your sneering lips, or you say it with that derogatory tone over and over. Because I’m not an idiot. And I have the benefit of being alive on this earth almost four times longer than my son, a terrifying truth. I have the dual advantage over my children of having grown up and lived in countries and cultures other than the USA.

Before there was ‘wokeness’ there was ‘consciousness’, and ‘conscious music for conscious times’, conscious reggae and dub. And growing up in Trinidad in the late eighties and nineties as the ‘white girl’ I wanted nothing more than to prove to my friends in school and on my swim team (but most importantly to myself) that I wasn’t a racist. This requires work. Because let me assure you being woke is not the easy path. It requires you to confront structural racism and your own part and contribution to it. It literally requires you to WAKE UP!

So go ahead, call me a ‘woke liberal’, I’ll clutch my heart and breathlessly say, “Why, thank you SO MUCH! I don’t think I am nearly there yet, I have so much more to learn, but I try.”

Bob Marley – One Love

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (one love)
There is one question I’d really love to ask (one heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me

Apologies from a White Climate Advocate

I think we always look at everything through our own lens of experiences. It is a natural human tendency. As empathetic as we believe we are, we can only know about what we know about. Which is why it’s always important to try to seek out more diverse perspectives and learn more.  I am currently reading ‘All We Can Save’, a book I highly recommend. It is a collection of stories, poems and prose by female climate activists. Women who have been working on this for decades.

My last post was about how we need to talk about the fact that people work in ‘dirty jobs’ every day. That we need to illustrate clearly for those people what they will be doing in our new ‘green future’ if we are to have any chance of being successful bringing those folks along. While that is certainly still true, I will confess I was thinking primarily of men working in oil and gas. Not always white men, because I have worked on oil and gas platforms off the coast of Trinidad, but certainly, mostly men. I was thinking about folks like me, who may feel ‘guilt’ from earning money from an industry that it is now apparent has done so much harm. But again, I was thinking of me, my experience, as a middle-class white woman in a largely corporate role.

What I have learned from reading ‘All We Can Save’ is that the poor and disadvantaged have always had the double whammy of being forced to work in the ‘dirty jobs’ and living and playing in the communities that the factory pollutes. Women working in the field of crops with heavy pesticides and then coming home desperate to shower and change clothes to not poison their children, a futile gesture because the chemicals are in the soil and the air where they have to live.

The most important revelation I have had so far from reading this book, is that we can solve our climate crisis in many ways, not all of them will be equitable. There was a new deal in the 1920s that solved the economic depression and the dustbowl, but it wiped out generational wealth for communities of color because all the highways were built through them. Hardly any of the loans that were distributed in that New Deal went to people of color. We cannot make those same mistakes again.

In our rush to solve this terrible, terrifying existential crisis, we must ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Above all else we must be humble. If we do not include diverse perspectives on climate solutions we could end up with a safer earth habitat but a broken social structure that could still tear us apart.

The Elephant

…in the Climate Change room;

Let’s talk about it. The fact that hundreds of thousands of people, human beings, go to work every day to do what we now call ‘dirty jobs’ that are destroying our planet. They do not (most of them) wake up every day and say ‘hmm, let me see how much I can mess things up today.’ They go to work, presumably to do the best job they can, doing the work that for decades we told them was perfectly legitimate work, and which, incidentally, we all support still today through our consumption habits. Just telling those people that they are terrible is not going to fix anything. We need to offer them alternative green jobs and we need to train them starting NOW to move into those alternative roles.

We know what we need to do but we are doing a very poor job of implementing it because too many people cannot see their place in our new ‘Green City’ of the future. These are not ‘bad people’, these are ‘scared people’. All they can see is that you want to take their livelihood away, with no alternative offered. If it’s true that we only have 10 years to implement these changes then why aren’t we at the project planning stage yet? Why isn’t a Microsoft or other project plan opened up working backwards from 2030 with all the milestones we need to hit identified? Seems that we are lacking that granularity.

Let’s face it, not everyone in the future sustainable city is going to be able to, or even want to, dig in wormy dirt, compost at home, and grow their own food in their backyard (if they own a home or a backyard). That is a bunch of kumbaya nonsense. I am by no means saying that composting and growing food locally and regeneratively are bad ideas. I’m just saying that realistically, pragmatically, for the majority of humankind, it will have to be collected and managed at the municipal and industrial level. We need to imagine and illustrate for everyone clearly, how all these people are going to survive and EAT.

How are individual restaurants going to be competitive investing in reusable tableware and cutlery when their neighboring restaurant is allowed to use ‘cheap’ (in purchase dollars only) disposables? That simply won’t work. And all the people in plastics factories making billions of plastic bags and single use containers (THE ONES THAT WE ALL USE EVERY DAY), how are they supposed to provide honestly for their families in this new ‘green future’?

All of this is going to require *que horreur!* government support and oversight. Government grants and investment to ensure that the green option is always the preferred option. Good intentions are not a strategy. We need to imagine better…and with much more granularity to understand how the majority of humanity are going to fit into this new future. Not just the minority of people who have the interest, time and space to compost their own scraps. It is something we can do if we face up to it honestly with the blinders off. I mean, let’s get real and serious here people.

Stop. Buying. New. Stuff

That’s it. That is what we, the average person, can do to most impact climate change. Stop buying new things. Don’t buy a new car (even if it’s electric), a new shirt, a new dress, a new phone, a new power tool, a new toy for your child. That is what you can do. And it will have a tremendous impact. Because every one of those new things requires pulling more virgin resources, some of them finite, non-renewables like lithium or copper or iron, from the earth (often using questionable ethical practices). Most of us have no idea what monstrosities have been committed to create the things we buy.

We already consume so many new things every day, because we breathe. We have figured out how to live three times longer than our species was supposed to. That puts tremendous strain on the earth’s resources. The cost in consumables; food, cleaning products, supplements, medicines, medical supplies etc to keep us all alive, and clean, every day is tremendous.

In my family’s lifetime we will go through hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bags of food: bread, eggs, chicken and fish, snacks (consider the resources needed for both container and food in container). Sometimes we eat plant based protein: burgers and beans but that also has to be grown, and comes in plastic. So we do buy a whole lot of ‘new’ things already, every day and every week. We just eat them all, and send the packaging they come in to a landfill. In more ways than one, we are eating our way to extinction.

And because we are already doing so much damage, the least we can do is try to limit it by not buying new things that we really do not need to stay alive and comfortable. This is our broken (underneath) 17 year old couch that I refuse to replace. It has been like this for three years now and actually works fine. I have tried to fix it myself without success. I probably should call in a professional just to get a quote to see if it can be repaired but, it is not an emergency.

Recently my son needed a new sweater his size. We have been fortunate that when they were small they got great, gently used hand me downs from their cousins. However, now that they are full grown, it turns out that they are not the same size and shape as their full grown cousins. So I got him a wonderful, second hand Eddie Bauer sweater that he loves from Poshmark…but I still have not told him it is second hand. I’m worried he will be disappointed and like it less. And that is our problem. Buying new things has become our ‘love language’. Lovingly caring for and repairing things is no longer important to us. That is for ‘poor people’.

Stop buying new stuff. Stop and think first, do you really need the item AT ALL? If you do, can you repair what you have? Can you borrow or rent one if you only need something for one small infrequent job (like a power tool)? If not, can you obtain a gently used item second hand? Let’s stop being ashamed of loving our earth and trying to do anything we can to save it for our children. Mothers who truly believe in science and are not climate deniers have no shame, only undying conviction.

Are you a Climate Denier?

Am I? They say it’s an ‘emergency’. All the best climate scientists, 95% of them. The proper scientists say we only have 6-8 more years to change our ways and pull back from the brink. They say this is going to happen probably by 2030, possibly before your next big birthday celebration or your retirement. We will all likely, hopefully, be here in 2030 to acknowledge that WE all (collectively) contributed to the earth’s irreversible demise. Smart people who believe in science (like us) listen to the experts right?

What do you do in an emergency? You grab what you need, what is critical for survival. You grab identifying documents, some cash, hopefully your family and pets, in some climates a warm coat, maybe some keepsakes and you RUN.

You most certainly change your plans and your behavior. You don’t just go to work like nothing has changed or continue to sit on your couch and watch Netflix. You run.

So why are you still thinking about getting that new car, or that kitchen remodel? And why do I keep wondering if I need a new couch? We are logical people, not conspiracy theorists. We believe in science, right?

We’ve known for decades what we need to do to combat climate change. Our existing TAKE.MAKE.WASTE economy is destroying our planet. Our individual and collective daily consumption habits are going to cause acidification of the oceans and extinction of (more) species if we do not start to make significant changes. Yet most of us are still walking around like it’s 1985 and we don’t know any of this. Therefore, with the notable exception of the brave young people on Climat Strike and in Extinction Rebellion, we must all be Climate Deniers.

They say it’s an EMERGENCY!!!

Raising White Men

I attended a small webinar about a year ago. I cannot even remember what it was about but it was around climate action so I guess it’s all the same thing. We know it’s an emergency but how do we get legislatures to act? The only thing that stayed with me from that call was a young, female, black, climate activist who said (I paraphrase): ‘We need to do XYZ so we don’t have to keep going back to those rooms full of old white men’. I keep thinking about her saying that.

There is much talk these days about representation and why it matters. What ‘old white men’ need to understand is that for a VERY long time they have been the only voices represented, on any topic, whether the topic was one they could accurately represent or not. And many people these days, are, quite frankly, calling BS.

Now I am raising two young white men. They are smart and funny and kind (most of the time). White men, even old white men, are not a monolith. Just as anyone in any race is not a monolith. And I would hate for people to make assumptions about my boys based on the behavior of their peers. There are now and have been throughout history some very brave old, and young, white men who fought alongside others for justice. Because they were humble, and they listened.

It’s not that the opinions of white men do not count. It’s just that, for many topics, they should be…weighted. They should be weighted below a whole host of other voices that have traditionally been silenced. It’s not that white men are not qualified, it’s just that many other people are also just as qualified. And white men are simply unaccustomed to this change. But it can also be freeing. White men no longer have to take responsibility to be the authorities on every subject anymore.

Just this morning I had to remind my husband that his opinion that a certain gesture mimicking Native Americans in a baseball game is ‘probably ok’, is a curiosity only. You’d have to ask a Native American. And then you’d have to ask another Native American. And then more Native Americans. Because I’m very sure Native Americans are not a monolith either. And then you would just have to take their word for it, and make some decisions based on their input.

Representation matters. White men make up a very large proportion of the USA. I have no doubt that they will continue to contribute to the creation of a just and fair society. White men will only make themselves irrelevant if they do not listen to the perspectives of others whose opinions matter more depending on the topic.